THE HAGUE, Netherlands – 2 July 2019 – The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany is contributing €1M toward supporting the activities of the Trust Fund for Syria Missions at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which includes the work of the Declaration Assessment Team (DAT), the Fact-Finding Mission (FFM), and the Investigation and Identification Team (IIT).
The Fund supports the Organisation’s special missions and contingency operations related specifically to the Syrian Arab Republic. The German contribution aims to equip the OPCW with the means to maintain its professional and impartial standards in addressing the threat from chemical weapons use.
The voluntary contribution was formalised with an agreement signed on 28 June by the Director-General of the OPCW, H.E. Mr Fernando Arias, and the Permanent Representative of Germany to the OPCW, H.E. Ambassador Christine Weil, at the Organisation’s headquarters in The Hague.
Expressing his gratitude for Germany’s steadfast support, the Director-General remarked: “Germany has long been an integral partner in the global disarmament regime and a determined supporter of the Chemical Weapons Convention. This kind of resolve is as vital as ever to ensuring that the OPCW can fulfil its mandate.”
Ambassador Weil reiterated Germany’s continuous commitment to supporting the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention during this challenging time and further advances in the eradication of chemical weapons. She stated: “With this contribution, Germany demonstrates its commitment to OPCW’s efforts to work with the Syrian Arab Republic on the full implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, including the OPCW Syria missions of DAT, FFM and IIT.”
The Federal Republic of Germany joined the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) in 1997 and has been an active contributor to the OPCW’s programmes ever since.
The Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) is mandated to identify the perpetrators of the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic. The IIT was launched following a decision adopted by the Conference of the States Parties to the CWC at its Fourth Special Session held in June 2018.
The OPCW Fact Finding Mission was set up in 2014 in response to persistent allegations of chemical weapon attacks in Syria, with the task to establish facts surrounding allegations of the use of toxic chemicals, reportedly chlorine, for hostile purposes.
Established in the same year, the Declaration Assessment Team engages the relevant Syrian authorities to resolve the identified gaps, inconsistencies and discrepancies in the Syrian declaration.
As the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW, with its 193 Member States, oversees the global endeavour to permanently eliminate chemical weapons. Since the Convention’s entry into force in 1997, it is the most successful disarmament treaty eliminating an entire class of weapons of mass destruction.
Over 97% of all chemical weapon stockpiles declared by possessor States have been destroyed under OPCW verification. For its extensive efforts in eliminating chemical weapons, the OPCW received the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.